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Channa baramensis (STEINDACHNER, 1901)

Baram Snakehead

June 30th, 2013 — 3:24pm

This species was considered a synonym of Channa melasoma for a number of years prior to its revalidation by Ng. et al. (1996).

Specimens larger than around 120 mm SL can be distinguished by possession of a black spot in the centre of numerous body scales and a barred caudal-fin pattern, characters which are missing in both C. melasoma and the similar-looking C. cyanospilos.

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Channa argus (CANTOR, 1842)

Northern Snakehead

June 30th, 2013 — 2:28pm

This species is largely unsuitable for the home aquarium given its eventual size and natural behaviour, and we know of only a handful of private aquarists with the facilities required to house it long-term.

It’s currently illegal to import or own the species in the United States, United Kingdom and several other countries unless in possession of an official license.

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Channa asiatica (LINNAEUS, 1758)

Chinese Snakehead

June 30th, 2013 — 12:58pm

No bubble nest is built and several thousand eggs simply float at the surface with both male and female remaining to defend the eggs and fry.

The eggs hatch after 24-36 hours depending on temperature and the fry are free swimming in a further 24 hours. At this point they resemble 6-7 mm long black tadpoles.

It is important to constantly feed…

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Channa pleuropthalma (BLEEKER, 1851)

Ocellated Snakehead

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

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Channa aurantimaculata MUSIKASINTHORN, 2000

Orange-spotted Snakehead

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species is also traded as ‘golden cobra snakehead’ and is available in the aquarium trade on a regular basis.

It can be distinguished from other Channa species by the following combination of characters: 51-54 lateral line scales; 45-47 dorsal-fin rays; 28-30 anal-fin rays; 8-12 cheek scales; 50-52 total verte…

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Channa gachua (HAMILTON, 1822)

Dwarf Snakehead

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

Generally considered to have an enormous natural range extending from Iran to Taiwan and Bali, with records existing from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

However there exists significant evidence to suggest that C. gachua as currently understood represents a complex of similar-looking species, and a taxonomic review of the group is clearly required.

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Channa orientalis BLOCH & SCHNEIDER, 1801

Ceylon snakehead

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

Endemic to southwestern Sri Lanka where it appears restricted to the so-called ‘wet zone’ (see ‘Habitat’).

Confirmed localities are all within the Bentota and Kelani river systems and Kottawa Forest Reserve in Galle district, Southern Province.

Type locality is given simply as ‘Habitat in India orientale’ and this appears to have caused confusion regarding the species’ distribution with it of…

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Parachanna africana (STEINDACHNER, 1879)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

Following Bonou and Teugels (1985), P. africana can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: colour pattern unique, comprising a series of 8-11 dark, chevron-shaped markings extending along the body posterior to the pectoral fins; 19-24 scales in the transverse series; lateral line complete with 73-83 pored scales; 45-48 dorsal-fin rays 45-48; 32-35 anal-fin rays.

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Channa micropeltes (CUVIER, 1831)

Giant Snakehead

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

C. micropeltes is also referred to as ‘Indonesian’, ‘red’, or ‘redline’ snakehead, the latter names in reference to the appearance of juveniles which often appear in the ornamental trade despite its unsuitability for home aquaria. It is somewhat hyperbolised in the media as a fearsome, invasive “monster” fish with a reputation for killing more fish than it can eat, and even the occasional human, although in reality…

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Channa andrao BRITZ, 2013

Lal Cheng

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

This species was available in the aquarium hobby for a number of years prior to description and continues to be traded under various names including C. sp. ‘Lal Cheng’, C. sp. ‘Assam’, C. sp. ‘blue bleheri’, C. sp. ‘himalayanus’, and C. sp. ‘red’.

The names of valid, but distinct, congeners such as C. amphibeus, C. bleheri or C. stewartii have also been misapplied to it.

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